LETTERS: Cameron's dangerous game on EU membership
He decided to cast in law his decision to hold a referendum – having earlier given a cast iron guarantee to hold a referendum in the last parliament, only to break it – to appease the right wing of his own party and because he was frightened of UKIP.
Typically without thinking things through, he then decided to aim to change EU policies which he thought could easily be amended, rather than the more difficult ones, only to find his negotiating skills were not sufficiently strong even to achieve all of that.
He is now committed to fight to stay in the EU, but with half his party against him. With a majority of people not knowing anything about the benefits the EU brings, this disaster, caused entirely by Mr Cameron, could well lead to the UK exiting the EU.
With voters apparently no longer listening to Labour, if the polls are to be believed, the only way of avoiding this, as far as Scotland is concerned, is for the SNP to fight alongside Tory PM Cameron hand in glove in order to stay in the EU.
Phil Tate, Craiglockhart Road, Edinburgh
A new referendum call has its pitfalls
So Nicola Sturgeon longs to be in a position to make us choose between two trading blocks: the UK or the EU, via another independence referendum.
For a standalone Scotland seeking European entry, there’d be no UK rebates or opt-outs, secured over 40 years by Westminster. We’d be forced to join the euro and Schengen.
Scotland was hardly welcomed when our entry was hypothetically discussed in 2014 - and the joining process would take many years.
The rest of the economically buoyant UK is by far our greatest trading partner, not the struggling economies of the EU. Plus, with close pan-UK social and cultural ties, do we want a ‘hard’ international/EU border between England and here?
And let’s not forget we already have a UKIP MEP, plus opinion polls suggest UKIP will be represented in Holyrood after May.
Scotland has scant experience of immigration compared to England - would the end of European immigration into rUK be regarded as an unacceptable level of immigration into Scotland?
Ms Sturgeon, be careful what you wish for.
Martin Redfern, Royal Circus, Edinburgh
Ruth’s stance on SNP ignores Tory history
When Ruth Davidson claims that only the Conservatives can be a credible opposition to the SNP, she must be hoping that voters will forget that the Tories regularly propped up Alex Salmond’s minority government between 2007 and 2011, and recently voted with the SNP to impose austerity cuts on local councils rather than use Scotland’s new powers to fight them.
In her desperation, she is really plumbing the depths by putting out the false claim that Labour and the Lib Dems no longer oppose independence on the spurious grounds that their leaders recognise that some of their supporters voted for it.
She also chooses to be blind and deaf to the fact that, every week at First Minister’s Questions, Kezia Dugdale attacks Nicola Sturgeon for failing to deal with the really important issues because of her obsession with independence.
The Tories have not changed. They are still the party that doesn’t know what struggling to make ends meet is like. They are the party that introduced the poll tax, the bedroom tax and the attacks on disability allowances. And, of course, we have just learned from documents released by the National Archives that Mrs Thatcher refused to share the financial loss when many countries boycotted the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh because of her support for apartheid.
Henry L Philip, Grange Loan, Edinburgh
Join breast cancer campaign to save lives
I was shocked to learn that around 1000 women die from breast cancer each year in Scotland. We need to act now to stop women dying from this disease.
That’s why I’m supporting Breast Cancer Now’s 2050 Challenge campaign, which is calling for MSPs to act now to help stop deaths from the disease by 2050.
The charity’s campaign proposes clear ways that politicians can improve treatment and prevention, better support research and continue early detection.
Our MSPs have the power to help save lives. They need to use it. I urge people to join the campaign at breastcancernow.org/2050
Ms Lesley Stephen, Belford Terrace, Edinburgh
Hotel bed tax will not put off visiting tourists
I read your article with interest (‘Tourism body slams bed tax bid as unfair on hotels’. News, February 19).
I don’t see why Edinburgh should not do this. It seems the way to go nowadays. Other countries are doing this.
My daughter was in Las Vegas last year in the United States and nearly all the hotels have what they call a ‘resort tax’ now.
It may have a different name but it boils down to the same thing. They stick a few pounds per night on to your bill and we may not like it - we never do when prices go up - but we pay anyway.
I don’t think it will put tourists off.
Jackie Batten, Rosyth